Liverpool is pitted against Atletico Madrid as the UEFA Champions League draw in Nyon reveals all the matchups of the Round of 16.
The group phase of the UEFA Champions League ended last week, with 16 teams advancing to the knockout stage. The eight group winners are pitted against the runner-ups in the following order:
Dortmund (GER) vs. PSG (FRA)
Real Madrid (ESP) vs. Manchester City (ENG)
Atalanta (ITA) vs. Valencia (ESP)
Atletico (ESP) vs. Liverpool (ENG)
Chelsea (ENG) vs. Bayern Munich (GER)
Lyon (FRA) vs. Juventus (ITA)
Tottenham (ENG) vs. Leipzig (GER)
Napoli (ITA) vs. Barcelona (ESP)
The Round of 16 starts on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, when the first leg matches are to be played. The second leg is happening two weeks later.
Liverpool Facing a (Relatively) Tough Challenge
After finishing at the top of Group E, the Reds continue their Champions League journey in the Spanish capital in February, where this team will play the first leg of the double-header with Atletico.
Jurgen Klopp’s boys are currently in Qatar, where they are taking part in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. The Reds got there by winning the Champions League 2019.
Atletico Madrid will try to dethrone Liverpool, the team they previously faced in 2017 in the final of Audi Cup, which the Spanish side won on penalties.
The last time these two faced one another in the Champions League was back in 2008 when they met twice during the group stage. Both of those meetings finished 1:1.
According to major online sportsbooks, Liverpool is a big favorite to go past Atletico Madrid. In fact, the Merseyside team is the second favorite the lift the trophy at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium where the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final will take place on May 30.
The team that’s currently labeled as the main favorite for the Champions League trophy is Manchester City, despite the fact that this team is facing the 13-times European champion Real Madrid.
For Which Giants the Road to Istanbul Ends Here?
The Round of 16 will mean the end of the road for some heavyweights. The number 1 favorite for the trophy Manchester City is facing Real Madrid, which is considered a dark horse by many. For one of these two, the Round of 16 will be the last stop in this season’s Champions League.
Another interesting clash is the one between Dortmund and PSG. The French champion has been trying to get past the Round of 16 for the past couple of seasons. In the 2018-19 season, PSG got knocked-out by Manchester United. A similar thing happened a season before when Real Madrid was the team to crush PSG’s Champions League dreams.
Chelsea has a very difficult task to go past Bayern Munich, the team with the highest number of goals scored in the group stage (24), whose number 9 Robert Lewandowski is the current Champions League top-scorer with 10 goals to his name.
The last season’s runner-up Tottenham is going to face Leipzig in the Round of 16. The Spurs can count themselves lucky for their foe is one of the teams labeled by sportsbooks as the biggest underdogs of the knockout phase, together with Atalanta and Valencia who play one another.
Meanwhile, Barcelona is playing Napoli, a team the Spanish side hasn’t ever faced in a competitive game.